Getting Process Buy-In From Your TeamAug 16, 2023
As a business leader, when you bring up the need for process documentation, do people seem interested? Are they committed? Are you? If they're interested, but not committed, it may feel like you have the keys to a race car, but no one is willing to drive it. So you and your team continue to push it around the track.
Winning the game of process documentation requires teamwork. Here are the best practices to get others to care:
First off, create buy-in on the vision. Early in my career, I single-handedly documented our company processes. I understood that it needed to be done but kept it from the team. Unfortunately, the team also couldn’t read my mind (shocker!). I worked nights and weekends to document most of the company processes that I understood and outlined the rest. I didn’t enlist help from the leadership team. I didn’t even tell them I was doing the work. Months later, when I presented it to the team, no one cared or used any of the overly detailed masterpieces I had created. Frankly, I quickly forgot about it, and it quickly became outdated. Years later, we adopted this approach and saw its effectiveness.
So, yes, buy-in is essential.
If you’re looking for buy-in, make sure you share with your team your passion for the value of process documentation. Leadership expert John C. Maxwell once said, “People buy into the leader before they buy into the vision.” As you begin, share examples of the positive impact of process documentation, such as more time, reduced errors, seamless onboarding, more profit, and more fun.
Another best practice is to include others in the actual work. Every leader on the leadership team will have a role in the process documentation. By involving everyone, you not only gather valuable insights but also encourage ownership. For example, the operation's leader should observe her team's activities, capture them, or seek their input on key processes.
Celebrate the Wins.
It is also crucial to celebrate successes. When a process is consistently executed and leads to positive outcomes, recognize and celebrate the team’s commitment and hard work. In a retail sales department, documented processes around customer service can help increase customer satisfaction scores. Identifying these improvements with recognition, gift cards, or other celebrations reinforces positive behavior.
Keep them Updated.
Finally, remember to use the Followed By All Checklist and update your processes, at least annually. Encourage a culture where people feel comfortable giving feedback on processes and capture these improvements.
By embracing these elements,
you will cultivate a culture
that sees process documentation
not as a one-off task but as a
key to successfully hitting your goals.
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